Let’s admit it.
It is no longer enough to have a great product at a competitive price. Your customers should also feel good at every moment of the buying process. This is a secret capable of bringing your customer back to your brand again and again.
The great part of this – if you are able to retain at least 5% more customers, your profits will increase by 25% to 95%.
While humans can experience a wide range of experience in an offline store where they can leverage a host of physical senses, an online environment has only a holistic User Experience (UX) to offer. This is why online businesses take UX design seriously and try to make human-computer interaction more efficient and establish an emotional connection between users and a brand.
UX design, however, is a challenging task and has myriads of peculiarities that jeopardize the project’s success. To avoid pitfalls and build a winning user experience, learn these 7 rules from design companies that are already successful in the market.
1. Engage Your Users
People tend to visit websites and use apps that they like. You did not expect it, did you? For sure, it is an obvious statement, but do you know what makes them like a particular website or app they use? No, you don’t, and there is no other way to know it than to simply ask users.
Sometimes the best way to come up with a good UX is to involve users in its creation. No, there is no need to make users design! What we mean here is to make a quiz, a questionnaire, or a survey that will tell you what kind of design solutions users like and adjust your project accordingly.
Hinge, by Red Antler, is a dating app that is designed to be deleted. Its creators were attentive to users’ demands and opinions. They understood that dating apps are no longer useful when they already did their one job, so designers built the app on this principle – find a partner and delete the app.
The designers focused mainly on the experience of users, which helped Hinge to stand out from the crowd of similar applications.
2. Consider the Cognitive Load
If users have a difficult time understanding what they should do next while using your app or website, then its UX is poor. You may use science to avoid this common pitfall. Mainly, cognitive load is a psychological theory that describes the ways to deliver information at the speed and at a level of complexity at which a receiver can understand it.
In other words, this theory helps to understand the amount of thought that a particular task requires. With this in mind, it is much easier to create a good UX with precise instructions that won’t let users get stuck on their way.
Heatable, by AndPlus, is an app meant to facilitate the oil delivery process. Though it sounds complex, designers managed to make UX as easy as tapping and swiping. A user only has to check the price and delivery date, decide on a number of gallons and swipe to order. In other words, the cognitive load was done perfectly.
3. Be Consistent
Consistency in design is vital for a good User Experience. If you are consistent, then it is much easier for users to feel your style and understand your thinking. It significantly promotes the navigation process. And if your users can easily and quickly navigate your website or app, then the chances that they will like it are high. What is more important, developing a clear style facilitates a brand and makes it more recognizable among people.
Petbarn, designed by Landor, is a great example of brand consistency. Its website offers various products for pets, including dogs, cats, fish, birds, reptiles, and other small animals. Each of these sections has a specific design that corresponds to the selected topic and the style of this brand. This makes it extremely recognizable among competitors.
4. Keep It Simple
Users don’t want to feel like they are dumb when using a website or application. Nowadays, people have minimum patience for something they do not like, and their attention can quickly shift to another thing. That is why it is so important to keep things simple when designing a streamlined User Experience. One should avoid using overly complex wording or too complicated design attributes.
Otherwise, you may end up confusing a user, which will result in the loss of potential customers. You should better strive to focus on the most crucial parts of your website or app and omit excessive features. Make it comfortable, but not abstruse.
Ungifted Secret Santa, by Pentagram, is an excellent example of how simplicity can promote UX. Its webpage includes only the most necessary information and minimum design attributes. But it is also quite charismatic, and together with the simplicity of design, it makes a great combo.
5. Know the Limits
Any UX should look familiar and intuitive to users. As a designer, your task is to come up with something unique and creative for a website or an application, but it does not necessarily mean that you should go beyond limits.
You still have to follow design standards since they ensure that your UX will actually be familiar and intuitive to people. So you should be intentional with your creativity and use it only where it is needed, but never strive to become unique in every aspect by reinventing the wheel.
Boon is a recruiting solution application designed by Goji Labs. The designers expressed their creativity through the color palette, font, and appealing icons, while the rest of the app is a standard drag-and-drop menu. They used a common and familiar skeleton, which is so easy to use and navigate.
6. Personalize Your Product
It is more likely that people will admire and recognize a website or application if they feel like there is a personality behind the screen. It helps to build an emotional connection that facilitates user experience when people use your program, as well as increases the chances to achieve customer loyalty.
In turn, if an application or website looks just like any other one on the Internet, the chances are high that it will be quickly forgotten. Always strive to personalize your product since lifeless, impersonal designs have nearly zero potential to hit the bull’s-eye.
With the help of Theorem Reach, Fireart Studio shows how a brand can acquire personality through mindful design. They depicted this survey platform as a kind and amusing Survey Wizard, who does survey magic. In this manner, designers humanized the brand, creating a better connection between users and the brand.
7. Allow Users to Make Errors
When designing a website or an app, you should remember that a good UX always includes a room for user error. Think about how search engines like Google autocorrect spelling. Without this feature, users would not get far in their experience.
Of course, you may implement all your empathy to understand users’ behavior and minimize potential problems, but you cannot be 100% sure that everything will go as planned. There will always be instances when users will make mistakes, and error notifications will arise. And you, in turn, must provide users with necessary instructions on how to fix these errors. Give them precise directions, and they will favor you back.
Bungalo, by Praxent, is a real estate platform that allows prospective home buyers to digitally search and buy houses. Since this platform is operating with huge numbers, any mistake could be critical. That is why creators come up with a set of digital guidelines that help users to use this platform, which significantly facilitates UX.
The modern world of online business offers vast opportunities, but also has cut-throat competition and strict demands from customers. It is always better to learn from someone who has already succeed in the market and then try to follow in their footsteps. But the success of an app or website always starts from great UX, and one should first follow the rules of its design.
This article is voluntarily contributed by Sophie Zoria of Rioks.
Sophie is a passioned journalist writing about tech trends, mobile apps, and design. Check out her Medium page.